In a wide-ranging interview with CIO, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins opted to use the word "January" to discuss BlackBerry 10's launch instead of the traditional "Q1 2013" that we've heard to-date. It's possible that it was a slip of the tongue, but if not that's a more optimistic window for BlackBerry fans. As we've heard before, the plan appears to be to launch the full touchscreen device first with a physical keyboard device coming "very shortly after" as a kind of "one-two punch."
The BB10 launch was originally slated for Q4 of 2012, but Heins has his reasons for deciding to delay the release. Going into more detail than before, he alluded to something he's said earlier about "innovating too much," noting that the company had created a big set of features for BB10 and wanted to make sure they all got in and were well-integrated:
The delay is because our software groups were actually so successful in coding the various feature components and building blocks that [...] we got overwhelmed by integration efforts. I had to make a decision. I could actually have kept the schedule, if I had made a sacrifice on quality and on platform stability. And I decided not to do that, because I need to make sure that when we deliver a BlackBerry, it is best quality.
Heins also hopes that the later launch will mean that it will get more attention than it would have in the "noise" of the holiday season. If looking forward to RIM's future doesn't interest you, the interview also has some of Heins' thoughts about why RIM arrived at its current dark pass. In short, it focused too much on emerging markets and misunderstood that in the US, high-bandwidth LTE was more important to carriers and customers than ensuring they were on a data-sipping platform like BlackBerry. That's the philosophy that was championed by ex-CEO Mike Lazaridis, but it's not in keeping with the times and RIM appears to finally be fully aware of that. Heins had more to say on RIM's past, present, and future, so be sure to page through CIO for the full interview.